appetizer, Food, Recipes, Salad

Calamari Salad

Calamari Salad Ronit PensoMany of us are more familiar with crispy calamari rings, coated with batter and deep fried. They are very tasty, but also can be quite heavy. Calamari salads are a bit less known, and it’s a shame, as they are a wonderful fresh alternative.
Here is one example for such a salad: lemony and green with fresh parsley, it is just perfect for a hot summer day. It is very easy to prepare and even easier to serve, as it is prepared ahead of time and kept in the fridge until serving. I’m sure you’ll love it once you’ll try it.

A few notes:
* If you are squeamish about using the calamari tentacles, you can prepare the salad using the body rings only. However, the purple tentacles add both color and different texture, so I highly recommend using them.
* If you’re using fresh calamari, cleaning will take a bit longer than with frozen ones, as you’ll need to remove the eye and ink sac as well. In this case, make sure to wash the calamari even more thoroughly, as they usually have more sand in them.
* Cooking time can vary depending on size, but even with bigger ones, it’s crucial to keep cooking time as short as possible, otherwise you’ll end up with rubbery, chewy texture. Remember the rule about cooking calamari: it’s either very short or very long cooking time.

Makes: 4
Prep time: 30 minutes
Marinating time: 2 hours and up to overnight

1.1 lb (500 grams) whole cleaned calamari, frozen, thawed
1 medium lemon, washed
1 tsp salt
½ cup flat parsley, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely diced
¼ cup capers, drained
2 tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
3 slices lemon, roughly chopped with the peel on

1. Prepare the calamari: separate the tentacles from the body, remove the wings and check for any bones (they look like clear plastic). Place in a colander and wash thoroughly. Cut the body into thick rings, drain and transfer to a small bowl. Keep the colander in the sink.
Calamari Salad Ronit PensoCalamari Salad Ronit Penso Calamari Salad Ronit PensoCalamari Salad Ronit Penso
2. Cut the lemon in half and juice it. Keep the juice on the side and place the lemon halves in a medium size pot. Add 1 tsp salt, fill with water and boil.
3. While waiting for the water to boil, chop the parsley and dice the garlic. Place in a medium bowl and add the capers, salt, pepper and lemon juice. Mix and keep on the side.
Calamari Salad Ronit PensoCalamari Salad Ronit Penso Calamari Salad Ronit PensoCalamari Salad Ronit Penso
Calamari Salad Ronit PensoCalamari Salad Ronit Penso
4. Once the water is boiling, add the cleaned calamari. Bring back to the boil and cook for 40 seconds longer. (The overall cooking time is about a minute.) Quickly drain into the colander and wash with very cold water for a couple of minutes, to stop the cooking.
Calamari Salad Ronit PensoCalamari Salad Ronit Penso
5. While still slightly warm, add the cooked calamari to the bowl with the parsley and mix well. Add the olive oil, mix and transfer to an airtight container. Cover and place in the fridge for 2 hours.
Calamari Salad Ronit PensoCalamari Salad Ronit Penso
Calamari Salad Ronit PensoCalamari Salad Ronit Penso
6. To serve, bring to room temperature, add the diced lemon and mix. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Serve at room temperature.
Calamari Salad Ronit PensoCalamari Salad Ronit Penso Calamari Salad Ronit Penso

52 thoughts on “Calamari Salad”

  1. I’m so jealous that you can get your hands on calamari! I’ve never cooked with it because it would be frozen if I could buy it here. But boy do I eat a lot of it when I’m on vacation!!! This salad is so gorgeous!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Mimi, I’m glad you liked the salad. It is very fresh and tasty and perfect for summer.
      Though I obviously use fresh calamari when I have a chance, I actually prepared this salad with frozen calamari and the result was excellent. Unlike some other seafood, I find that calamari can hold freezing well. I highly recommend experimenting with it. 🙂


  2. Such a refreshing salad! I do love calamari but normally, if not buttered and fried, I go for grilled or stuffed. That’s a new one for me too! thanks for the inspiration 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. One of my sisters was always in charge of bringing a calamari soup to her Sicilian husband’s family Christmas Eve dinner. I bet she would be interested in this salad – will have to share with her. Me, I have only had them fried. Yes – I am squeamish too 🙂


    1. It’s interesting how even seasoned cooks become squeamish with calamari. I guess it has something to do with the way it looks…
      Sicilian calamari soup sounds very intriguing! I hope your sister will enjoy this recipe as well. 🙂


  4. I love calamari fried, but I’ve yet to try it prepared it any other way. I have a bag of frozen rings tucked away in the freezer and I think maybe it’s time to broaden my scope a bit. This salad looks wonderful (not to mention healthier than fried calamari)! Thanks for posting, Ronit…You’ve encouraged me to challenge myself!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This looks so fresh and delicious Ronit! I have never had calamari in a salad. I have had fried (of course), sauteed like scampi and I made stuffed calamari once in a spicy tomato sauce. I must find some calamari now to make this salad. It will go great with some of the smoked meats I do. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Ronit,
    I had something like this in France a couple of years ago. Delicious. I always prepare my own squid. It’s the best way to guarantee freshness. You are so right about cooking times.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I think I’m like Judilyn, squeamish about trying calamari when it’s not heavily disguised with breadcrumbs and deeply, deeply fried. I always pick them out of seafood mixes. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Karen, I’m glad you liked the salad.
      I totally agree – the extra cost is well worth it when it comes to cleaning calamari, though I’ve had times when even after paying the extra it was still not as clean as I want it…

      Liked by 1 person

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